Dubai diamond trade hits $39bn in 2011, up 12%

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Women walk past the Emirates Diamonds shop at Gold and Diamond Park, a shopping mall specialised in gold and diamond retailing, in Dubai. The United Arab Emirates, the world’s fourth-largest oil exporter and home to gold trading hub Dubai, is rapidly becoming a force in trade of another highly valuable commodity: diamonds. Photo – Jumana/Reuters

The total value of Dubai’s diamond trade, including rough and polished diamonds, soared 12% to $39 billion in 2011, Dubai’s precious commodities authority said in a report. ?

The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre Authority (DMCC), which did not provide separate import and export data for the year, said ?approximately 225 million carats of diamonds were traded in the Dubai Diamond exchange ?during the year.?

According to the Kimberley Process, rough diamond exports to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) grew 66% to $5.87 billion in 2011, while rough imports jumped 80% to $3.7 billion. Rough exports rose 1% by ?volume to 47.214 million carats while rough imports went up 20% ?to 52.083 million carats.?

Diamonds contributed to the overall strong commodities trading seen in Dubai in 2011.

The DMCC also reported a 35% increase in the value of gold traded through the exchange to hit a record of $56 billion, ?reflecting both an increase in volume and prices. The trading volume for gold rose 6.3% ?to 1,200 tons at an average price of $1,571.?

In the first half of 2012, the Dubai Gold and Commodity Exchange’s (DGCX) volumes rose 172% to 3,848,002 contracts, driven by significant surges in gold and Indian rupee futures ?trading.?

?“Our strategy is to continue enhancing commodity trade flows through Dubai by enabling ?businesses to access new markets as they shift from West to East and North to South,” ?Ahmed Bin Sulayem, DMCC’s executive chairman, said.?

DMCC, the licensing authority for the Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT) Free Zone, registered a 60% growth in new companies during the first half of 2012, compared to the same period in ??2011. In the first six months of the year, DMCC registered 975 new companies, bringing the ?total number of businesses operating in the JLT Free Zone to over 4,600.?

DMCC did not provide diamond trading data for the first six months of 2012.?

Dubai, the UAE’s centre for gem trade, handled $35 billion worth of rough and polished diamonds in 2010, a leap from an annual figure of just $3 million a decade ago.

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